Young indigenous people happily using their mobile phones

Poor customer service, irresponsible selling practices, unresponsive or uncontactable telcos, unfair treatment of vulnerable consumers, and information asymmetry in the telecommunications market is causing considerable harm to communications consumers. While COVID-19 lockdowns exacerbate poor customer service and consumer detriment, this is an ongoing and pervasive issue. Access to suitable financial hardship arrangements and support for consumers experiencing vulnerability remains problematic, and consumers still have difficulties getting their authorised advocates recognised by the industry.

We will continue to advocate for significant improvements in telco customer service and complaints handling. We will work for reforms to deliver stronger consumer protections to underpin a fair and competitive communications market that delivers for all consumers and small businesses. We will provide a strong evidence base to support measures to lift performance, increase transparency and accountability, and rectify systemic issues. We will prioritise our advocacy for underlying reforms to support positive consumer outcomes, and fair treatment of customers by telco providers – especially for those most at risk of falling into hardship. We will call for an unbiased and independent information service to address information asymmetry in the telecommunications market. We will review and inform consumers about new plans and offers in the market, and advocate for products best suited to consumer needs. Guided by First Nations representatives, we will support fairer communications outcomes for First Nations consumers, including consultation on the Indigenous Digital Inclusion Plan.